NoTW newspaper to close in fallout over phone hacking

7 Jul 2011

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The contentious hacking of phones belonging to 7/7 bombing victims, their families and murder victim Milly Dowler has created an untenable situation for The News of the World, which is to print its last edition this Sunday.

It is understood that the final issue of the title The News of the World will carry no advertising and that revenue will go to good causes.

News International is understood to be planning a new Sunday newspaper called The Sun on Sunday.

The scandal over journalists and paid investigators hacking the phone accounts of 7/7 victims and Dowler has proven repugnant to many people in the UK and may cause media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s takeover of News International to be delayed.

Following a concerted Twitter campaign brands including Tesco, Ford and Specsavers announced they would pull their advertising from the newspaper.

The scandal reached such a crescendo that UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour Leader Ed Milliband are meeting next week to order a full enquiry. It is understood staff are to move to a new seven-day operation.

It is understood that the domain name thesunonsunday.co.uk was registered a mere two days ago.

Announcing the closure of the 168-year-old newspaper, James Murdoch, deputy chief operating officer, News Corporation, and chairman, News International, said: “The News of the World is in the business of holding others to account. But it failed when it came to itself.

“In 2006, the police focused their investigations on two men. Both went to jail. But The News of the World and News International failed to get to the bottom of repeated wrongdoing that occurred without conscience or legitimate purpose.

“Wrongdoers turned a good newsroom bad and this was not fully understood or adequately pursued.

“As a result, The News of the World and News International wrongly maintained that these issues were confined to one reporter. We now have voluntarily given evidence to the police that I believe will prove that this was untrue and those who acted wrongly will have to face the consequences.”

Read James Murdoch’s full statement here.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com